Election mail bag Oct. 29

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Don’t believe the fake ads

Vote for Initiative 185 — Here’s why. This initiative is a tax on the sale of tobacco projects in order to reauthorize the state’s Medicaid expansion. Beginning in 2016 federal dollars paid 100 percent of the cost to expand Medicaid in Montana and provide medical insurance for nearly 100,000 of our residents who were previously unable to have medical insurance and were not eligible for Medicaid. Over the next few years the states have to pickup only 10 percent of the cost of expanding Medicaid; the federal government will continue to fund at 90 percent.

Contrary to the “fake ads” that oppose Initiative 185, it is not a tax on most Montanans. It is a use tax. If you don’t smoke, don’t vape, or use snuff, you won’t be affected by this tax. Money from the out of state tobacco giant Altria (parent company of Philip Morris) is spending $859,000 a week in Montana to advertise against this initiative by funneling the money to the PAC Montanans Against Tax Hikes. Don’t be deceived. These ads are funded by BIG TOBACCO to keep people smoking and teenagers’ vaping!

Increasing the tax on tobacco products has health benefits because the added cost will make these products less enticing for young people and will encourage those already addicted to smoking and vaping to consider quitting. It also makes sense considering the added health care costs incurred for all of us by current tobacco users. Increasing the tax on tobacco products to expand the Medicaid program in our state is a win-win situation. So, don’t be swayed by the deceiving ads dominating our airways trying to convince us that this is a tax increase for all of us. It will only increase the tax on the sale of tobacco products. Voting for Initiative 185 makes common sense!

— Carol Santa, Marion

Jerry O’Neil for life, liberty, livelihood

I like everything I read and hear about Jerry O’Neil…family man with a sweet wife and five children, born and raised in the Flathead Valley, owner of a private business…solidly prolife, pro-Second Amendment…promotes personal responsibility, private sector jobs, utilization of Montana natural resources and limited government as outlined in the U.S. Constitution. He is against the water compact, states accurately that it “violates our Constitutionally protected republican form of government.” Jerry O’Neil has a stellar voting track record from when he served as Montana senator and House Representative. Now more than ever, we need Jerry O’Neil to represent House District 3 in Helena—for life, liberty, livelihood.

— Mike Sutter, Kila

Vote for who will listen to the people

I am disheartened to read, once again, another prime example of our current commissioners ignoring the will of the people.

They have refused to listen to 70 percent of Flathead County voters, now they are refusing to listen to residents of a road that is quickly becoming more dangerous and potentially lethal.

In Sunday’s Inter Lake, Stacey Neary lays out her concerns for Rose Crossing. As a former resident of Rose Crossing, I can empathize with Ms. Neary, about this perilous road. The eight years I lived near Rose Crossing, I witnessed dangerous driving conditions in all seasons, especially in winter. Cars in the snow filled ditches almost every day. Cars in ditches will quickly turn into severe collisions and death for loved ones should some safety measures not be put in place.

Why do our current Commissioners turn a deaf ear on the pleas of their people? What are they gaining by not standing up for the safety and well being of our residents?

Commissioner Mitchell, admitted to killing $30,000 worth of county park trees because they blocked his view, proceeded to go to trial for the crime, and waste more taxpayers’ money. His fellow commissioners have not called for his resignation. Pam Holmquist, also wrote a letter in Sunday’s Inter Lake supporting Randy Brodehl.

Voters...be careful voting for anyone who is touted by our current commissioners, unless you want more of the same kind of lack of support from them!

I expect our elected officials to listen to our residents concerns and ADDRESS them. Find a middle ground. Facilitate a solution!

My belief is that Tom Clark is, by far, more willing to be honest and transparent in his beliefs than his opponent, Mr. Brodehl.

Don’t vote for a “party”...vote for who will actually listen and work FOR the people!

— Angie McCrorie, Kalispell

Brodehl will protect us

We need Republican Randy Brodehl in the county commissioner office to protect our property rights, our water rights and our wallets. Please join me in voting for Republican Randy Brodehl in the General election on November 6.

— Ardis Larsen, Lakeside

Dunn brings commonsense

David Dunn is an intelligent man and pleasant to talk to. I am pleased that one of his focuses as a candidate is food freedom. Very unusual. During the 2017 legislative session, I testified for the raw milk bill, myself being very familiar with the health benefits of raw milk. The bipartisan testimonies of Montana legislators in favor of the raw milk bill are very impressive.

David Dunn, a farmer and owner of DW Organics, will be a strong voice for similar commonsense legislation that will come up in the 2019 session. It is important that House District 9 voters support David Dunn in the November election.

­— Amber Sutter, Kila

Wilderness Study Areas

Montana’s Wilderness Study Areas are an important subject of debate by U.S. Representative Greg Gianforte and his challenger Kathleen Williams.

Mr. Gianforte wants to abolish all WSAs without any meaningful public hearings or public involvement. He touts support from Montana’s 2017 state Legislature which passed HJ9, a non-binding resolution urging Congress to remove protections from the WSAs.

There was only one public hearing on that resolution. It occurred in an overcrowded room at the state Capitol, in front of Rep. Kerry White’s natural resources committee in February 2017. About 57 Montana speakers traveled from all around the state to testify, and more than 85 percent of them opposed the resolution.

A show of hands near the end of the hearing indicated overwhelming opposition to HR9. Yet, Rep. White’s committee and the Legislature ignored the public input and passed it anyway.

Rep. Gianforte should not promote legislation based on an extremely unpopular resolution. Kathleen Williams has called for real public hearings focused on specific Wilderness Study Areas before any decision is made to abolish them all. Mr. Gianforte should do the same.

— Gene Sentz, Choteau

A puppet and yes man

Watching the most recent statewide televised debate between Kathleen Williams and Greg Gianforte was downright painful. Asked several times by Williams to clarify his stance and give evidence on his bogus claims on several issues, Gianforte refused to answer. He could only hang his head, look at the podium and shuffle his papers. Silence. This should surprise no one. He has hidden from Montanans since he took office and continues elude the real citizenry by meeting behind closed doors with only party hard-liners and faithful followers. He has held no open forums or town hall meetings because he cannot face folks like Williams and be accountable for the only thing he stands for: being a puppet for our so-called president and a yes man for everything Steve Daines tells him to do.

Worse, his conviction of assault on the reporter last year has haunted him in the halls of Congress where even his own party leadership has shunned him, offering him only minor committee assignments with no real leadership roles. And, in a Congress full of millionaires where jealousy and pecking order count, our billionaire bully has made no headway and has no footing. Still, he stakes his claim to the failed Trumpism when there are plenty of clear-headed and independent voters back home who recognize that sinking ship.

Kathleen Williams is going to be Montana’s first woman Congressperson in nearly a century. It is said that if you want something done right in Congress, elect a housewife. Then step back and watch things happen.

— Michael Ober, Kalispell

Honored to call Brodehl a friend

I’ve had the privilege of working with Randy Brodehl for two sessions in the Montana House of Representatives. Randy has directed our state in a sound and prudent manner. He has served in leadership positions in Appropriations, directing our state government spending in a responsible manner.

He will bring to our county strong leadership skills from his eight years as a citizen legislator. We should all be honored that he is willing to continue to help us by running for this most important role as a county commissioner.

I am honored to call Randy Brodehl a friend. He has a sincere desire to help humanity. I know he will promote and lead our county to better heights. He has a vision of positive growth while looking out for the citizens of Flathead County.

— Rep. Mark Noland

In response to ‘choose a side’

I was surprised you published Mr. Dickerson’s letter (Oct. 22). His president routinely violates the Christian 10 Commandments. How about his affairs while married? His disrespectful speech about women? Stealing from the government by not paying taxes appropriately? His weakening of air and water protection so more people die from pollution? His hateful speech toward others? His actions to decrease aid to the poor? His unwillingness to expand health care availability to all Americans?

Seems to me the Republican Party has some work to do to act as Christians, since so many support a leader who fails to act in a Christian manner.

Let he who is without sin throw the first stone.

— Rayne Beach, Whitefish

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